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I really enjoyed this book. I bought it thinking it would be the usual Liberal/Progressive manifesto, with the usual historical anicdotes, but I was somewhat surprised. Most political historians view Jefferson as the bad guy who didn't like the federal government (which we now take for granted) up until his election, at which point he becomes the loveable anti-federalist who got rid of the Sedition Laws. When I heard the author begin to demonize Adams and lionize Jefferson, I have to admit to feeling a twinge of cognitive dissonence kick in. I don't know that he made me a convert, but I found his arguments enlightening and persuasive. It was a new perspective and unfortunately, not one you'd find elsewhere. I recommend this book because it presents an interesting perspective worth considering.
As for the other comment, I have to comment on the fact that s/he recommend "the Republic" as an explination for Progressive philosophy. If you haven't read anything better / more recent on the issue of liberal thought than that, then this book is definitely not a good start. In fact, I would recommend you read the declaration of independence or the Constitution. Those were pretty much the most liberal documents in the world until about 1945, and yes, liberals wrote those (*gasp*). As I have said in other comments. "If you are a sensative Conservative Reader, prone to tantrums and unjustified feelings of victimization, then this book is obviously not for you." And if you do decide to forgo your political leanings, please take a moment to digest the perspectives on a historical level, in combination with other historical perspectives, rather than becoming angry and deleting the book half way through.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
I got this book in hopes of looking at History from a Progressive view. What I got was a book that just started calling names and that gave little facts. He made accusations about many things and then would not even try and back them up with facts. The facts were what I was looking for. I wanted to understand. When he did state facts they where sighted with little context or were just wrong. One was when he was stating the greatness of Jefferson and he said that "Jefferson would rely on the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution" but in the book "What Kind of Nation" documents that Jefferson and John Marshall fought over the role of the Supreme Court and Marshall took the right for the Supreme Court to Interpret and made it stick. This is only one of many. The author also seems say that Jefferson and Thomas Paine were the only real Patiots in the war. This is the same when it came to Jackson, Civil War, and ... really I got feed up after 3 and a half hours of this and deleted it.
If you are not part of the "cause" and want to use this book to understand the left, forget this book. The best book I have found to explain the Progressive view is "The Republic" by Plato. After reading it I understood reasoning of the left today.
28 of 49 people found this review helpful